WebMD says that, “ideally, kids should get their vitamins from a balanced healthy diet that includes: milk and dairy products like cheese and yogurt, plenty of fresh fruits and leafy, green vegetables, protein like chicken, fish, meat and eggs and whole grains like steel-cut oats and brown rice.”
With busy schedules and too many commitments, well-rounded, balanced meals can be infrequent so if your kid is like most kids, they’re not getting enough nutrients...especially if they are a picky eater. If this sounds like your house, read on to find out which kids may need a multivitamin.
Here's a Comparison Table for the Best Multivitamin for Kids
Number of Tablets
Under 4 years
6 mos-4 years
4 years and up
Under 4 years
2 years and up
Should I buy a children’s multivitamin?
The answer is yes if your kid doesn’t eat regular, well-balanced meals made from fresh whole foods (or if they’re basically eating Chef Boyardee Mac n’ Cheese three times a day). The answer is yes if your kid is a picky eater who doesn’t eat a lot. The answer is yes if your kid eats a lot of fast or convenient and processed foods. The answer is yes if your kid is on a vegan or vegetarian diet. The answer is yes if your kid drinks a lot of carbonated sodas (because they can leach vitamins and minerals from the body). The answer is also yes if your kid has a chronic medical condition (like asthma or digestive issues), but you should talk to your child’s doctor before you put them on a supplement if they’re already taking a medication of some kind.
What are the best children’s vitamins?
WebMD lists a few critical supplements for growing kids. THese include Vitamin A (promotes normal growth and development; tissue and bone repair; healthy skin and eyes; and positive immune responses); B vitamins (specifically 2, 3, 6 and 12--which aid in metabolism, energy production, and healthy circulatory and nervous systems); Vitamin C (which promotes healthy muscles, connective tissue and skin); Vitamin D (promotes bone and tooth formation and helps the body absorb calcium); calcium (for strong bones); and iron (which builds muscles and is essential to healthy red blood cells).
It’s important to buy a child multivitamin with iron because iron deficiency is a risk in adolescence (especially for girls when they start menstruation).
When should I start a multivitamin for my kid?
First, if your child is taking any kind of medication, be sure to ask your child’s doctor about the best children’s multivitamin for them so you are aware of any potential drug interactions that could lower or boost the medication dosage.
Some multivitamins are appropriate at age 2 or older, but some doctors suggest determining dosage based on weight not age (so if your 2-year-old is small, you may need to wait to start giving a multivitamin). You may want to consider waiting until your child is 4-years-old to start giving a multivitamin supplement unless otherwise recommended by your primary care physician.
When I’m ready, what is the best multivitamin for kids?
Recently, The Picky Eater blog did a rundown of the Healthiest Children’s Vitamins of 2017, a few of the ones they selected are listed below. Some have iron and some don’t.
This supplement combines the natural goodness of whole foods with a balanced nutrient profile and each of the chewable tablets has 16 essential vitamins and eight minerals PLUS spirulina,
Of these best multivitamins for kids, this powdered multivitamin is formulated for kids age 6 months to four years old. The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants inside combined with wholesome foods and vegetables help supplement any child’s diet while supporting healthy growth and development and support for the immune system. You can mix this powder with soft foods or liquids so your picky eater doesn’t even know it’s there. It has no artificial additives, is gluten-free and free of allergens like dairy, yeast, nuts, eggs, fish and shellfish. It comes in an easy to use single-use packet.
This vitamin is made with food-created nutrients and is for children ages four and up. It is vegetarian and gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO and is a verified whole food multivitamin with no artificial flavors, sweeteners or additives. It has live probiotics, enzymes and antioxidants to promote health and vitality and boost the immune system, mental clarity and energy, support bone development and the digestive system and eye health. It has vitamins and minerals from 24 family-farmed, whole food fruits and vegetables.
This supplement is made for mom’s by a mom for kids age five and up. Each mini-tablet is easily swallowable and contains no sweeteners, flavorings or food coloring. It has 24 essential nutrients that support healthy growth and development, supports immune defenses and vision too. It is made with whole foods that are easy-to-digest and gentle on the body, even on an empty stomach.
These may be the best gummy vitamins for kids. They have 16 essential vitamins and minerals (including a comprehensive blend of toxin-fighting antioxidants like A, C and E, and mood-boosting B vitamins), and, even though they look like candy, have no artificial colors and sweeteners. They also are free of yeast, wheat, milk, egg, soy, gluten, salt and preservatives. They are great for kids ages two and up and they will most likely love taking them.
There are lots of options available to you when you’re looking for the best multivitamin for kids, including the ones listed above. Just remember that most doctors will say that the best way to get your child the vitamins and nutrients they need most is to feed them a well-balanced diet of whole fruits and vegetables. But if you can’t, or you are and they won’t eat it a supplement is a good option. Before giving your child any sort of vitamin, mineral or supplement in the form of a multivitamin, be sure to check with your primary care physician to get their advice and dosage recommendations.